Replicants

Replicants

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The name may come from Blade Runner, but the intent and range of subject matter isn't simply 1982. Part wink-and-nudge celebration, and part straight-up tribute, the collection of cover songs on the Replicants' one album is a workman's holiday that doesn't always provide much in the way of dramatic reinterpretation. It is, however, darn good fun in its own way, with the members relaxing from their more famous bands to step up a bit from a simple bar band level of covering things. It certainly isn't always kick-up-your-heels time on the album, and the song choices reflect that to an extent -- T. Rex's gently mournful-in-spite-of-itself "Life's a Gas," John Lennon's bitter slam "How Do You Sleep?," David Bowie's portrayal of unnerving collapse "The Bewlay Brothers" (given an especially effective, unsettling take). The general mood throughout the album is consistent in the hands of the band, though -- new wave compression and beats gone just a bit more Goth/industrial at points without beating the point into the ground (Missing Persons' "Destination Unknown" gets the best treatment of all on that front). What changes in the arrangements there are are often quite subtle -- the Cars' "Just What I Needed" goes at the same general pace and combines the same sort of choppy tension and exultant rocking out, for instance, while still sneaking in some understated tweaks here and there. Perhaps the most well-known song on the album comes from Paul d'Amour's connection with Tool -- Maynard James Keenan throws in on vocals for Paul McCartney's "Silly Love Songs," probably the most overtly screwed-around-with cover on the album. Thankfully, it's not a total and utter trudge-fest, finding a weird balance between the relative exultance of the original, and the band's own mock metal heroics, adding in a bit of woozy semi-shoegaze psychedelia at the end.

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